Volume 28 Number 06
                      Produced: Fri Oct 30  7:45:52 1998

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

613 Mitzvot
         [Stan Tenen]
Accessibility of Har Hazaytim and other places
         [Thierry Dana-Picard]
Electric Wheelchairs (2)
         [David Oratz, Shoshana L. Boublil]
Hebrew on College Seals
         [Ed Ehrlich]
Judeo-Christian America
         [Asher Goldstein]
Laining Pronounciation
         [Richard Wolpoe]
Meaning of Names, etc.
         [Jeffrey Friedman]
Script money
         [Chaim Shapiro]
The Beautiful Method of Extracting Meaning From Names
         [Russell Hendel]
U.S. as a Judao-Christian culture
         [Steve Wildstrom]
         [Steven White]
Vitamins and kashrut
         [Jack Reiner]


From: Stan Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Wed, 28 Oct 1998 10:38:39 -0500
Subject: 613 Mitzvot

Avi, et al.,

I've come upon an astonishing demonstration that seems to show that the 248
positive and 365 negative mitzvot are implicit in the first verse of

I was wondering if anyone on the list knows of the earliest references to
the 613 mitzvot, and their negative and positive components.  I know most
of the basic story, but I need some better references if I'm going to be
able to discuss this intelligently.  For example, the 248 positive mitzvot
are often associated with the number of bones in the body, but in fact, the
number of bones in the body is 206.  We know that our sages were
extraordinarily knowledgeable in anatomy, and certainly would not have
counted incorrectly.  So, I'm wondering if there is a more basic
understanding that explains what's really being referred to.  

I don't want to go into what I've found in too much detail until I have a
better sense of the sources, but it appears that from a Kabbalistic
perspective, the "body" of Adam Kadmon is actually circumscribed by 365
limitations, and 248 freedoms.  So, I'm wondering if the 613 mitzvot are in
any way discussed in any kabbalistic source, in any relationship to Adam
Kadmon, or if they're only traditionally understood from a strictly
Talmudic perspective.  




From: Thierry Dana-Picard <dana@...>
Date: Wed, 28 Oct 1998 16:21:58 +0200 (IST)
Subject: Re: Accessibility of Har Hazaytim and other places

Joseph Greenberg asked about accessibility to Har Hazeytim: there should
be a regular bus line (at least, the Municipality asked Egged to
organize it; I did not check whether it actually exists or not). The
fact that the guy of the 'Hevra Kadisha carries a pistol is not so rare
and should not impress you.

In the Jewish Quarter of the Old City named the Jewish Quarter, and on
the way to the Kotel, there is no special security problem. You can walk
there at any time.

There are many people going through the shuk, with kippa, hat and so on,
and without any weapon. But if you don't know the way, don't go alone.

By the way, when you are at the Kotel (so close to Kodesh Hakodashim),
please pray for all 'Am Israel, here and abroad. May G-d accept our
Tefilot, especially these days.

One more word: Rav Mordekhai Eliahu (Rishon LeTsion and former Chief
Rabbi of Israel) asks everybody to say Psalms 120, 121 and 140. Those
who can should add more Tehilim.

Have a nice trip.

Thierry Dana-Picard                                  tel: 972-2-675-12-78
Department of Applied Mathematics                    fax: 972-642-20-75
Jerusalem College of Technology


From: David Oratz <dovid@...>
Date: Thu, 29 Oct 1998 17:42:14 -500
Subject: Re: Electric Wheelchairs

The Institute for Science and Halachah of Bayit Vegan in Jerusalem has
done much work on the matter. Their phone number is (9722)
6424880. Mr. Marcus is an English speaking engineer who works there who
should be able to help you.

Dovid Oratz

From: <toramada@...> (Shoshana L. Boublil)
Date: Wed, 28 Oct 98 22:30:22 PST
Subject: RE: Electric Wheelchairs

>Does anyone know how the switch must be changed in order to use an electric
>wheelchair on Shabbos and yom tov?  If not, do you know a source I can

Try to contact Machon Tzomet in Alon Shvut,Gush Etzion, Israel
tel: 972-2-9931442;  Fax: 972-2-9931889

They have a special electric wheelchair for Shabbat.

Name: Shoshana L. Boublil
E-mail: <toramada@...>


From: Ed Ehrlich <Eehrlich@...>
Subject: Hebrew on College Seals

>Harvard has Hebrew on its seal.

I think that Jeanette meant the seal of Yale.  It can be seen at:

Ed Ehrlich <eehrlich@...>
Jerusalem, Israel


From: Asher Goldstein <mzieashr@...>
Date: Thu, 29 Oct 1998 08:53:45 +0200
Subject: Judeo-Christian America

Where is the source that Hebrew was to have been the lingua franca of
America as one poster claims?  They never taught us that in my Bostonian
school days - despite the Pilgrim's equation of the New World as the New
Jerusalem and themselves as having traversed the desert to get there.
Hebrew was taught at Harvard (by a converted Jew) back in the 17th century,
but it was looked upon as a Classical language, like Latin and Greek.
Harvard's symbol is Veritas (Truth), which is Latin, not Hebrew.  The rival
school in CT, founded much later, is the one that has a Hebrew inscription,
"Emet" (Truth), in its seal. Not sure if the Boston Latin School, founded a
year before Harvard, ever taught Hebrew, but it always offered Latin and
Classical Greek, and was not concerned about the Judeo-Christian tradition
(whatever that phrase means). 


From: <richard_wolpoe@...> (Richard Wolpoe)
Date: Wed, 28 Oct 1998 09:31:30 -0500
Subject: Re: Laining Pronounciation

     More On mispronounciation:
     In Mattos ch. 32 v. 24 the word tzona'achem was mis-read as tzonchem.
     I don't think it changes the meaning.
     However, It does imply an Alpeh before the Nun instead of atter it.
     Is this a show-stopper - I.E. does he have to go back and re-read it?

     Rich Wolpoe  


From: Jeffrey Friedman <jff@...>
Subject: Meaning of Names, etc.

   >Jay asked if names in the Torah have meaning - the answer is yes.
   >The quick example that we read about this week is Isaac, which
   >means 'laughing one.'  So, if a name is mispronounced, then it is
   >possible that the meaning can be misunderstood.
   >Dr. Seth Magot

I don't know if this level of meaning in names should be determinitive
of halachic issues.  After all, the connotation of "Isaac" does not
cause us to label all laughing men Isaac.  A name is what some analytic
philosophers call a "rigid designator" that points to a specific
individual.  A name's meaning in this sense is what it points to.  If
there is no ambiguity in whom is meant, there is no misunderstanding. If
I am in error about the etymology of a name, I can still use it
correctly and be understood correctly.

   >Does anyone know where the idea of the U.S. as a Judao-Christian
   >culture came from and sources where the idea is discussed?
   >Susan Chambre >>
   >According to the history books, the original language of the U.S.
   >was supposed to be Hebrew, and Harvard has Hebrew on its seal.
   >Contact the American Jewish Historical Society in Waltham, Mass.
   >(They are in the process of moving to Manhattan, but that's ok) and
   >they'll give you the data.
   >Jeanette Friedman

I wouldn't believe anything I read in such a "history book."  It seems
that every etnic group has a bubba meisa like this one.  Several years
ago there was a Usenet thread on German having just missed being made
the official language of the US.  The source of this whopper was a vote
in Pennsylvania to publish official state acts also in German (because
of the substantial Pennsylvania German population).  This proposal was
defeated.  Since there couldn't have been more than a few hundred
speakers of Hebrew in the US in the 18th century, no propsal to make
Hebrew the official language could have been serious.  One crackpot
proposal does not equal "the original language of the US was supposed to
be Hebrew."  And I think it is Yale, not Harvard, that has Hebrew on its
seal (for protestant theological reasons, not philo-semitism).

Jeffrey Friedman


From: <Dagoobster@...> (Chaim Shapiro)
Date: Tue, 27 Oct 1998 22:43:14 EST
Subject: Script money

Many orthodox schools in the Chicago area issue script money valid at
local Jewish establishments.  If one finds script money in the street,
may he use it as he would any money found, or should he return it to the
school who isssued it?

Chaim Shapiro


From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@...>
Subject: RE: The Beautiful Method of Extracting Meaning From Names

Jay Schacter [Vol 28, #2], among other things, raises the issue of
the meaning of NAMES IN THE BIBLE.

There is a beautiful and rich literature on this! The Talmud relates
that it was Rabbi Meir who introduced the idea of learning from the
meaning of names.

In our own times, the Master of Nuances, Rav Samson Raphael Hirsch, has
beautifully shown how what appear to be dry lists of genealogies are in
reality deep and dynamic portrayals of historic trends.

The most elegant example comes in Gen 5--which lists the 10 generations
from Adam to Noach. Let me just deal with 4 of the ancestors: KNN --

------- Everyone can see KN/KNH--the root meaning POSSESION. Rav Hirsch
        suggests that his generation was noted for its wealth/POSSESIONS.

----------Everyone can see HLL--praise. The idea that the PRAISE generation
        (MaHaLaLayL) follows the POSSESION generation (KayNaN) seems clear
        enough---wealth and possesion lead to gratitude and praise.

-----But PRAISE(MaHaLLayL) only by itself leads to a feeling of being 
        down (YeReD); depression; a feeling of emptiness.

-------The background of POSSESION, followed by PRAISE, which lead,
        like many euphorias, to feeling DOWN/DEPRESSED, suggested a
        new solution---EDUCATION (ChaNoCH). And we see that Chanoch
        symbolizing his educated generation found favor in Gods eyes.

Four words/names---KayNaN, MaHaLaLayL, YeReD, ChaNoCH--and a history of
4 generations--possesion, praise, emptiness, education--is revealed.
This is a typical Hirshian technique--the derivation of broad
philosophical trends from minor nuances.

Praise be Him Who Chose them and their Learning
Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA Rhendel @ mcs drexel edu


From: Steve Wildstrom <steve_wildstrom@...>
Date: Tue, 27 Oct 1998 21:24:31 -0500
Subject: Re: U.S. as a Judao-Christian culture

> <Smchambre@...> (Susan Chambre) wrote:
> Does anyone know where the idea of the U.S. as a Judao-Christian culture
> came from and sources where the idea is discussed?

I think this usage is of relatively recent orginin and has gained
currency in this era when no one want to offend anyone else's cultural
sensitivities. In sources prior to World War II, it is common to see the
the U.S. referred to as "a Christian nation." Often it is done in a very
offhanded way that doesn't seem to carry the weight of a political
statement that it does when someone like Pat Robertson says it
today. "Judeo-Christian" seems to have been subsituted in a (misguided)
effort to spare Jewish sensibilties. Personally, I find the usage more
silly than offensive. Most of the time, speakers don't seem to have the
vaguest idea of what, if anything, the phrase is supposed to mean.

Steve Wildstrom           Technology & You   <swildstrom@...>
Business Week             202-383-2203
1200 G St NW Suite 1100   Fax: 202-383-2125
Washington, DC 20005


From: <StevenJ81@...> (Steven White)
Date: Wed, 28 Oct 1998 14:57:51 EST
Subject: Re: Vitamins

In #4, Robert Book writes:

> I was wondering if anyone knows about the issues relating to Kashrut and
>  vitamin pills.  

I'm sure this was covered a while back, although long enough ago that it is
probably worth rehashing.  An additional issue, I recall, that was included
from then was related to Shabbat:

1.	If vitamins are generally food, they may have to be kosher, but can
probably be consumed on Shabbat.

2.	If vitamins are generally medication, then they might not need to be
kosher, but absent specific medical requirements cannot be consumed on

3.	Some hybrid positions were also identified, I think.

Steven White


From: Jack Reiner <jjr@...>
Date: Wed, 28 Oct 1998 09:57:17 -0600
Subject: RE:  Vitamins and kashrut

>I was wondering if anyone knows about the issues relating to Kashrut and
>vitamin pills.  I am not looking for a psack halacha from the list, but
>I can think of the following reasonable lines of reasoning, which lead
>to different conclusions:

I went through exactly this situation a couple of years ago when I
started keeping kosher.  I have been a long time taker of vitamins; not
just any vitamins, but all-natural mega-vitamins.

My LOR would never really give me a definitive answer to my questions
regarding the kashrut of vitamins.  I suspect that he could not bring
himself to authorize the taking of something [potentially] non-kosher,
but that he also could not find a specific psak defining vitamins as
either food or medicine.

I solved the problem after months of searching.  I finally a
manufacturer of all-natural vitamins with the OU hechser.  I have been
taking them about 4 or 5 months, and I am generally happy with them.

In order not to advertise, I will not post their name here.  Anybody who
wants their name, phone, and website address (with online ordering!)
can send email to me at <jjr@...> and I will email the info back.

I am not connected with this vitamin company in anyway except as a happy

Jack Reiner			<jjr@...>
(504) 443-5481		www.CreativeInternet.com	


End of Volume 28 Issue 6